The short answer- yes. Music does affect your health in a positive way. There have been studies that prove that music helps in reducing depression, and hormones that are stress-inducing. There is also a possibility that music helps in recovery post surgery. According to Kim Innes of West Virginia University’s School of Public Health, music helps activate several chemical processes in the brain that have always been linked with a positive approach to things. So, music pretty much allows us to be happy with the least effort!
A study in 2016 authored by Innes showed that music helped older folk revitalize their cognitive skills which tend to decline with time. In this scenario, music acts like meditation- thereby promoting a healthy mental faculty in the youth as well as the aged folks. In fact, it depends on the individual- if they find peace listening to music, then it is a viable alternative to meditating. At the end of the day, it is all about what provides you, the consumer, with peace and stability of mind- be it meditating or listening to music.
But, there is a negative side to listening to music too. One that includes listening to music that increases the production of stress hormones in the body. According to a Finnish study, music from sources like the Halloween movies or The Shining will definitely not calm you down. It is the rhythm that matters- if you choose the wrong rhythm, it will make you angry and aggressive. Maybe that’s required if you are trying to pump yourself up for the gym or a sprint, but when you are trying to bolster mental and physical health, then they aren’t suitable.
Daniel Levitin of MacGill University explains that music that has a gradual tempo progression, with a stable chord change helps in improving the general well being of the body. But if the music is mere cacophony, like most death metal or thrash metal bands then it can result in the exact opposite. But even that is subjective- most people find comfort listening to AC/DC, a reputed metal band.
Music helps bring out every single part of the brain into much bigger limelight. You might be thinking that you could possibly pull out two or three things to do at the same time, but it doesn’t always happen. Sure, you can listen to some hard-hitting song in the gym to pump yourself up, but you can’t calm yourself down if you are listening to some soothing music AND using your cell phone. You need to do away with your cell phone for the time being and simply focus on the music.
Music therapy is an interesting concept that can help us bolster mental health through it. The therapist will simply guide you through your own spirit and potential to find out what suits you in every sphere of your life. And it would be done to the strains of music that you have chosen for yourself. But if you don’t want people to understand or know the kind of music you listen to, you can simply play an instrument or learn to sing.
Singing or playing an instrument will always reflect a part of you, apart from helping you understand who you are in reality. It also helps improve your mood, so that’s an added benefit.
Music helps you be in sync with a side that remains hidden to the naked eye, more often than not. It captivates you and… unleashes you.